Senate schedules hearings next week on two Retirement Fund bills
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Senate Retirement Committee, chaired by Sen. Soliai Tuipine Fuimaono, will hold a hearing next week Tuesday on two Senate bills dealing with the American Samoa Government Employees Retirement Fund (ASGERF).
The first, seeks to change the composition of members of the board of directors of the ASGERF.
Under current law, there are seven members of the Board of Trustees for the Fund, with at least four members, who shall be members of the Fund having at a minimum five years of service; and three members who shall not be members of the Fund but shall include among them at least two members with experience in the private sector/business community.
However, the legislation, sponsored by Senate President Tuaolo Manaia Fruean — who is also a member of the ASGERF Board of Trustees — proposes to change the board’s composition with at least “five” members who are members of the Fund, and “two” members who “have” experience in the private sector/business community.
ASERF board members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Legislature.
The bill’s preamble points out that it’s imperative to have a fully staffed Board of Directors for the Retirement Office in order to conduct business and it’s “incredibly important” these board members “be fully invested in protecting the Retirement Fund and helping it to grow.”
And “to ensure members who are fully invested in the Retirement Fund, it is essential that they are actual members of the Retirement Fund with their own retirement accounts.”
Furthermore, members of the Board of Directors of the Retirement Fund who have their own money in the Fund will be “absolutely motivated to do all they can to ensure the success of the Retirement Fund.”
Meanwhile the second piece of legislation set for committee hearing next week Tuesday, is a bill — sponsored by Sen. Utu Sila Poasa — which seeks to increase the contribution rate for both government and employees to the Retirement Fund. (See Samoa News online for details.)